Human Resources

Measuring Values, Skills, and Culture

In yesterday’s Advisor, guest columnist Tonya Lanthier made the case for data-driven hiring, and how to measure communication and behavior style. Today, Lanthier discusses how to measure values, skills, and culture—and how all these pieces of data fit together.

Measuring Values

We define values as those core beliefs that motivate us to get out of bed in the morning. We begin with a list of over 100 terms and ask employees to narrow their core values down to three. Articulating what drives you can help determine if you will be a good fit for a company.

If your core values are making a difference, kindness, and joy, and you see an employer whose core values are power, competition, and innovation, it is obvious it may not be the best fit. When values are misaligned, employees can feel alienated and unfulfilled. Our values give us purpose and carrying out our purpose leads to happiness.

Measuring Skills

Of course, there are hard skills that are required for each job. It is important to know how familiar or competent potential hires are in certain areas like technology, tools, and procedures. For each skill, the jobseeker rates him- or herself on a proficiency scale with four levels:

  • Level 0 = Not familiar. You are not familiar with this stated task.
  • Level 1 = Familiar with. You are familiar with this stated task; but you would need more experience and practice to feel comfortable and proficient in this type of skill.
  • Level 2 = Experienced in. You have performed this task several times; you feel moderately comfortable functioning independently, but you might require a resource person to be nearby.
  • Level 3 = Expert. You have performed this task frequently; you feel comfortable and proficient in this skill; you would not require supervision or practice.


The strength-based result can better help employees match their skills to what employers are looking for and vice versa.

Measuring Culture

The final area critical to a company’s success is a solid work culture. As an employer, you have expectations and values surrounding the work environment—everything from scheduling to the way your team is dressed. We have found the following keys in finding a good fit for both employee and employer:

  • Schedule
  • Pace
  • Tools/technology
  • Ethics
  • Flexibility
  • Dress Code
  • Social
  • Supervisory style
  • Decor


For example, if you are an employer who likes a fast-paced day and prefer to allow your team members to have a great deal of autonomy over their work, you need to hire people who value a high-paced workday with little supervision.

Putting the Pieces Together

Hard data is the best way for candidates and employers to get a truer picture of one another. If left to intuition alone, hiring managers may “feel good” about a candidate but not realize the person has a difficult time working in a busy office and may end up quitting after 3 months. Having hard data helps employees and employers avoid such mismatches, saving a great deal of time and money.

Linking the right employee to the right job based on data has positive impact on both employee job satisfaction and the business’s bottom line. Employers find people based on the personality type or communication style they need and jobseekers can look for offices that have targeted needs they know they can meet. Not only is a data-driven hiring system a timesaver on both ends, the job satisfaction and team cohesion resulting from the process for both employee and employer are unmatched.